Waterproof Camera Review : Olympus to Nikon

If ever before underwater photography enthusiasts had a limited choice of buying expensive professional equipment, now there is an alternative – budget waterproof camera. These cameras, due to the increased degree of protection, allow you to shoot under water without any additional equipment.

Waterproof cameras differ from conventional compact cameras in following ways: they have a comfortable ergonomic shape, camera does not slip out even in emergency situations due to rubber-coating, and has large control buttons.

waterproof camera 2015

When creating a control system for waterproof cameras manufacturers tend to abandon the usual levers and drives instead only rubber buttons with waterproof seals are used. Also always reliably protected with a durable lens glass, which allows shooting without worrying about it getting damaged.

Let’s look at the best waterproof cameras in more detail:

1. Olympus Tough TG-2 iHS

Olympus Tough TG-2 iHSTechnical features:

  • Matrix size: 1 / 2.3 “
  • Resolution: 12 megapixels
  • Screen size: 3 “
  • Zoom: 4x optical
  • Video resolution: up to 1920 × 1080
  • GPS
  • Weight: 230 g

Undoubtedly Olympus Tough is the best waterproof camera in 2015 – you can dive with it up to 15 m depth, it can withstand a fall from a height of 2.1 m, a pressure of 1,5 MPa and temperatures of up to -10 degrees.

More...

But the actual tests showed that it is a much tougher product, after falling from three-meter height it continued to operate without any problems. Actually it’s so well protected that you can keep TG-2 in the freezer.

2. Panasonic Lumix FT5

Panasonic Lumix FT5Technical features:

  • Matrix size: 1/2,33 “
  • Resolution: 16,1 megapixels
  • Screen size: 3 “
  • Zoom: 4,6 x optical
  • Video resolution: up to 1920 × 1080
  • Weight: 188 g

DMC-FT5 allows you to dive up to 13 m depth; it withstands pressure of up to 100 kg and a temperature of -10 degrees. Its 4.6-x zoom covers focal lengths of 28-128 mm (film equivalent). Another feature of the waterproof Lumix is anti-fog coated optics, helping you to capture fog or steam.

3. Pentax WG-3

Pentax WG-3Technical features:

  • Matrix size: 1/2,3 “
  • Resolution: 16 megapixels
  • Screen size: 3 “
  • Zoom: 4 x optical
  • Video resolution: up to 1920 × 1080
  • Weight: 239 g

WG-3 can withstand immersion to a depth of 14 meters, can stay underwater for up to two hours (which corresponds to the IPX8 standard or JIS Class 8), can withstand a fall from a height of 2 meters – as approved and tested according to MIL 810Fm standard.

4. Canon PowerShot D20

Canon PowerShot D20Technical features:

  • Matrix size: 1/2,3 “
  • Resolution: 12.1 megapixels
  • Screen size: 3 “
  • Zoom: 5 x optical
  • Video resolution: up to 1920 × 1080
  • Weight: 228 g

D20 can survive a fall from 1.5 meters, dive to a depth of 10 meters (in special cases even up to 40 m), operates in temperature conditions from -10 to + 40 degrees and has a full anti-dust protection. PowerShot D20 is beyond praise, turns on almost instantly, which is a very important and useful feature for any waterproof sports camera.

5. Nikon Coolpix AW110

Nikon Coolpix AW110Technical features:

  • Matrix size: 1/2,3 “
  • Resolution: 16 megapixels
  • Screen size: 3 “
  • Zoom: 5 x optical
  • Video resolution: up to 1920 × 1080 at 30 fps
  • WiFI/GPS
  • Weight: 193 g

AW110 can be submerged up to 18 meters – a record-holder in the niche. It has a simple set of controls and a clear menu.

In extreme conditions, when shooting with your gloves on pressing small buttons is uncomfortable, but active control system of Coolpix AW110 helps navigating through the menu simply by shaking the camera, and selecting items by pressing a single large button, which is really convenient.

Despite the high degree of protection, waterproof camera requires careful maintenance, especially when used in sea water. After each dive, camera should be rinsed with fresh water. The scope of some models includes special brushes to clean the dirt off.

Also, be aware that camera’s proper functioning underwater is guaranteed only for a certain time – usually no more than 1 hour.